- by Rory Ramsden
People often ask me: What do you look for in a client? Why did you choose to manage this product launch and not that one?
Well, It’s a left brain, right brain kind of thing. There’s hard business logic on one hand and the softer human relations element too. Most of all there is credibility, authority and like-ability.
These are key to the success of your product launch. They are also key to the client/product launch manager relationship.
Product launch marketing isn’t about executing one perfect launch. Your marketing strategy should envisage a series of launches. Each one building on the last. Each more successful than the last.
Product launches are great for positioning both you and your business. That’s why I take a long term view as you should. Here are 5 criteria to check yourself off against to see if you qualify…
- Launch Question #1 – Do You Have a Great Product
Don’t even think of calling a PLM if you don’t have a power-packed product. If you’re in love with its beauty and grace. Forget it. Few people really have a product worth launching because their market research is not up to scratch, neither is their competition analysis. You have to be able to prove it to me just like you have to prove it to any other skeptical prospect.
Tip: There are at least 23 different types of proof. We’re talking case studies, testimonials, before and afters, product demonstrations etc. But the bottom line is if you cannot prove that your product does exactly what it says on the tin, can count me out.
- Launch Question #2 – Who Are you?
A ‘big hat, no cattle’ type of guy or A ‘been there, done that & got the T shirt’ action taker… What I’m talking about here is your track record of success in the market you want to do your product launch in. Are you a doer or a talker? From a product launch manager’s point of view there’s opportunity cost to consider.
Tip: It’s better to wait for an intercontinental ballistic missile than waste time on a series of bottle rockets. It’s a lot less stressful and more fun.
- Launch Question #3 – Do You Have a Warm Relationship With Your List?
Remember that spammers probably have access to the biggest lists you have ever dreamed of but that does not guarantee them eager buyers. Quite the reverse in fact. I look for a client who has a warm and fuzzy relationship with ‘his people’ and can prove it. Yes… I’m talking CTRs and visitor value here. A list of people who have bought from you is much more appealing than a list of prospects. A successful product launch requires you to have a strong relationship with your list.
Tip: Do not forget your social media presence here – How many fans does your Facebook business page have? Is your twitter following impressive? And what about your Youtube channel ? These are all important if you want to make the cut.
- Launch Question # 4 – Joint Venture Partners
Have you got pre-existing relationships with partners who will promote for you? I mean do they actually mail the people on their lists ? Do you have proof that they have done so before? Will they do so again? If not, that cuts down your options. The JV component of a product launch is supposed to be the easy part. You’ve got a successful product and process, now you just need to introduce it to more people through your contacts.
Tip: If you don’t have a warm list of potential JV partners, a big external product launch will be a non-starter.
- Launch Question #5 – Chemistry
A product launch is a pressure cooker with deadlines and lots of moving parts so we have to get on well together. Life’s too short to think otherwise. Sometimes the chemistry just isn’t right. No matter how big the opportunity, if two people can’t work together with mutual respect for their different areas of expertise, the project is doomed. I have to trust my gut on this one.
Tip: It’s better to pass, than try and force it.
Choosing the right client is really important to me especially when it comes to a big product launch. One big reason, of course, is about the cash. If I don’t know you have the assets to work with, we both won’t make the the money we want to. It’s just as much work – if not more – to put together a losing product launch as it to launch a winner. So my aim is to stack the deck… As I said there is an opportunity cost.
There really is no point in launching a ‘bottle rocket’. It’s far more fun working on an ‘intercontinental ballistic missile’ type product launch. Putting lipstick on a pig and crossing your fingers nobody takes a good look at it just sucks.
I want to add value. Value to your launch. Value to your business. Value to your customer’s lives. And, of course, I want to add value to mine. I’d be less than open and transparent if I didn’t come straight out and say it.
I find that if I take it slowly, clients actually select themselves. It’s better for both of us that way.
If you’re hiring a product launch manager, or just doing you own product launch, use these criteria to judge whether you’re ready. Do you measure up? If not beef up your weak points. This will make all the difference to your launch. You don’t have to be perfect, but if you can identify and act on the areas that you know need attention, your chances of a successful product launch will dramatically improve and the big payday you dream of could become a reality.
Be careful what you wish for…
In the meantime, if you breezed through those 5 criteria and reckon you’re ready to do that product launch now. Find out what’s in it for you. Then take the next step by answering these questions – it’s a simple survey – and I’ll get back to you asap. We can then hop on the phone and have a chat. No commitment on either side of course. I look forward to hearing from you…
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